Lakan-ka

Review excerpt: Unlike other fashionable restaurants that focus on the usual Italian-inflected fare, the menu at Lakan-ka is based on light, wholesome Japanese cooking.

Kurocyodo

Review excerpt: All the classic unagi dishes at Kurocyodo are offered, from simple unagi donburi rice bowls to unajū (served on rice in lacquerware boxes), and even cooked in donabe claypots or as shabu-shabu.

Sio

Review excerpt: At Tokyo's Sio, owner-chef Shusaku Toba is integrating strands into a cuisine that blends French and Italian with plenty of Japanese and other influences.

Rakushin Osaka

Review excerpt: Rakushin — the austere Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant that opened in 2018 — chef Katayama’s saba-zushi is a perfect balance of salt, vinegar and rice.

Kurasuno

Review excerpt: Kurasuno is a small izakaya bar-restaurant near Taisho Station on the Osaka Loop Line and beloved neighborhood treasure in the hearts and minds of residents since it opened in 1949.

World Breakfast Allday

Review excerpt: Harajuku's World Breakfast Allday’s aim has been to introduce the cuisines and cultures of countries that are less well-known in Japan. It might be Vietnam, South Africa or Israel, perhaps even somewhere in the Balkans.

Schmatz Nakameguro

Review excerpt: In German, schmatz is the word for smacking your lips in pleasure, or giving your grannie a kiss on the cheek. Perfect onomatopoeia for a few fun-filled hours Tokyo's Nakameguro.

Le Dessin

Review excerpt: Shizuoka's Le Dessin is a ramen specialist. But the bowls served here by chef Toshiaki Masuda are unlike any you’ll find on other stretches of the old highway.

Sumiba Yakitori Enza

Review excerpt: From the charcoal grill try a few of the staples at Sumiba Yakitori Enza, including tsukune (minced chicken skewers) sweetened with a drizzle of soy sauce glaze. Also worth ordering is the negima — chicken bits interlaced with leeks and once more ...

Review excerpt: The recipe at Otafuku, this classic oden house, has barely changed in a century and, until last autumn, nor had the atmospheric, low-rise wooden building in which the dish had been served for so long.